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    More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

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    BillC

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    More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:27 am

    Trying to stir up trouble maybe.

    It has occurred that younger judoka have been put off by the poor example proponents of kata study have shown them in terms of physicality, and very occasionally otherwise skeptical judoka have been turned on to advanced study by strong people who could walk the walk.

    Should a judoka's general attitude and effort in regards to his/her physical condition be assessed at promotion time? In other words, sure, your knees are weaker than the overage chicken's, and are held together by rubber bands inside and half a roll of tape on the outside ... but you are also 50 pounds overweight and the only exercise you seem to do is to lift that half-gallon of ice cream you consume while watching TV every night, or to haul yourself from the car to the mat ... where you promptly begin the really stressful part of your judo workout ... holding up the wall and shouting military-sounding orders at 8-year-olds.

    Should such a judoka be promoted? Should the reasons for the lack of ability to perform kata be excused if reason is poor physical condition within the control of the candidate?

    Further ... should physical assessment be a box checked in kata "competitions?"


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    finarashi

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by finarashi on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:53 am

    Physical condition is certainly something to be considered up to 6th


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    Stacey

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Stacey on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:29 am

    physical condition within the control of the person should be a factor. However, you never know if that 50 extra pounds is a result of the ice cream or a thyroid, or the fact that it takes a while to learn to eat less when your knees no longer bend.

    Personally, I'm all for kata. But, when it comes to testing, kata should be done and judged at the level of the judoka considering his/her physicality. If I'm never going to do a tsuri komi goshi again, let alone one that is anywhere near kata perfect, should I be allowed to modify that throw in that kata so that I can do the rest of the kata? (btw, I'm never going to do a tsuri komi goshi again - I squat down that low, and I'll need uke's help getting back up. Amazing, since I used to play catcher on my high school softball team and had no problems spring up for that throw down to second. Today, the thought of squatting that low, let alone "springing" up makes me physically ill).

    One of the things that I think we lack is an understanding of aging, and how judo can be used to help a person age - how to think of things differently, how to work within our limitations and find new things we can do. Yes, there is an idea standard, but let's face it - NOBODY is ever going to meet that ideal standard. Doesn't mean that it's not a worthwhile goal, but it doesn't make it the only goal.

    If judo is truly a system of education that lasts a lifetime, then we need more of an understanding of that full lifeline of a judoka. I'm not just talking about the judoka who started at 8 and is now 60, but also for the judoka who starts at 45. If my last bit of judo is being thrown for ippon into my grave, then how do I live judo between now and then?

    Maybe it's time for a more senior rank and aged judoka to talk with the guy holding up the wall, and ask him; what do you want from judo right now? what do you want from judo in 10 years? Are you satisfied with your judo today? And construct a curriculum that's plausible for somebody held together with tape.

    still learning

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by still learning on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:16 am

    I think this a challenging topic for which there are possibly no right or wrong answers. I do think however that grades should ALWAYS be comparable between peers, irrespective of time in judo. I also feel that judo grades should be sufficiently fair and robust so that judoka who visit different clubs or who are visited, are not so far out of their depth that they bring the grade into question. I was educated never to refuse to randori with somebody who had the courtesy to bow, if you are on the mat then you should have sufficient ability to actively participate. This of course means that there has to be a reasonable level of fitness.

    In short, if you can't live up to the grade then you shouldn't have it.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, I recognize that there will be occasions when health issues prevent this, but this should be the exception to the norm. As somebody who is still recovering from surgery I have doubts as to whether I will ever be able to properly train again, let alone compete. What then for my judo? I could still continue to teach but would expect to continue to grade, no.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:50 pm

    Stacey wrote:physical condition within the control of the person should be a factor.  However, you never know if that 50 extra pounds is a result of the ice cream or a thyroid, or the fact that it takes a while to learn to eat less when your knees no longer bend.
    As someone mentioned on another thread, everyone knows what's going on with people if they see them week on week, year on year.  Even at the first meeting the person who is diving back into a bag of candy at every break at a camp ... well, the reason for the weight ... and comical flatulence ... is clear.  He has an eating problem.  BTW ... thyroid disease is treatable.

    And the guy that smells like an ashtray ... that he can't go three rounds without sitting down ... that's no mystery either.

    Question is ... and this is a difficult one ... should he be judged unfavorably in judo because of this?

    I suppose I got to thinking about this when reading Ian Banks' newest ... and last ... novel.  In it he asks if things like overweight, smoking, drunkenness, drug addiction, overspending ... if these deserved the title of "disease" as is commonly used these days.  His answer seems to be no, that a disease that magically goes away when you stop doing something is ... in his way of thinking ... not a proper disease.  If one has cancer ... as Mr. Banks did ... and the reason it is his last work ... one cannot simply decide not to have cancer any more the way a person can decide not to touch another piece of candy ever again.

    So my mind wandered to excuses for not doing things in judo ... and for example kata is the most commonly excused requirement ... I thought "wait a minute, should they be excused if their disability is a self-control issue?"  

    By the way ... "Candy Man" does his kata reasonably ... some would even say admirably ... but should he still get a pass?

    As for the rest of your post ...

    NBK some time back noted a program at the Budokan which might have been called "Jeriatric Judo"  ... junokata, some of kimenokata, some predictable components of aikido, maybe taichi, etc.  Video I saw ... the folks looked in good shape, were having a good time.  So they can exist.

    Maybe it will occur to the brain trust at the JA or the JF that this is a lucrative market they are ignoring ... and an opportunity to promote the goal of judo as well.


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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:29 pm

    i don't like kata having anything to do with promotions.
    i appreciate the historical scholarly significance in its original use as a mnemonic device, but we have videos now.
    it's better to expand gokyo to include more variations to spread the modern judo waza repertoire.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:25 pm

    contrarian wrote:i don't like kata having anything to do with promotions.
    i appreciate the historical scholarly significance in its original use as a mnemonic device, but we have videos now.
    it's better to expand gokyo to include more variations to spread the modern judo waza repertoire.
    Your comment might be off topic ... and a discussion of the significance and utility of kata is a whole different thread that does not belong here ... but there is a relevant portion in your comment. There's a whole other discussion about the existence of judo without its kata ... though the right answer is that judo could exist without the trappings of modern competition but not without the works of its founder. 'Nuff said about that.

    The relevant part of your comment is this: You are right, judo should be expanded in the individual ... that is the lifelong learning part Stacey refers to. Kata is only one of a list of things yudansha should know and be able to do. But a common excuse surrounding avoidance of learning kata is "I just can't do that physically any more" But in fact it does occur that the person could learn ... they are just too lazy to get off their ass. Further, if they are mentally limited to judo as jacket wrestling, not modern budo, then they cannot teach a large portion of what judo is? It strikes me as odd to say "it's not relevant" though I don't know how anyone can proclaim that unless they are already competent. Should these folks be promoted? Does the ignorance of kata go hand in hand with a tendency to indolence in people who are past the children's game?

    Now lest I seem uneven ... I do know someone who is said to have performed the nagenokata as uke at the first Olympic judo venue in 1964 who is now convinced of its uselessness. So I think it's an open question about kata ... but that same person is in excellent physical shape for a man of his age ... so the question is really still about physical shape and promotion in judo.

    Now I may really be stirring up trouble.


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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:32 pm

    BillC wrote:
    contrarian wrote:i don't like kata having anything to do with promotions.
    i appreciate the historical scholarly significance in its original use as a mnemonic device, but we have videos now.
    it's better to expand gokyo to include more variations to spread the modern judo waza repertoire.
    Your comment might be off topic ... and a discussion of the significance and utility of kata is a whole different thread that does not belong here ... but there is a relevant portion in your comment.  There's a whole other discussion about the existence of judo without its kata ... though the right answer is that judo could exist without the trappings of modern competition but not without the works of its founder.  'Nuff said about that.

    The relevant part of your comment is this:  You are right, judo should be expanded in the individual ... that is the lifelong learning part Stacey refers to.  Kata is only one of a list of things yudansha should know and be able to do.  But a common excuse surrounding avoidance of learning kata is "I just can't do that physically any more"  But in fact it does occur that the person could learn ... they are just too lazy to get off their ass.  Further, if they are mentally limited to judo as jacket wrestling, not modern budo, then they cannot teach a large portion of what judo is?  It strikes me as odd to say "it's not relevant" though I don't know how anyone can proclaim that unless they are already competent. Should these folks be promoted?  Does the ignorance of kata go hand in hand with a tendency to indolence in people who are past the children's game?

    Now lest I seem uneven ... I do know someone who is said to have performed the nagenokata as uke at the first Olympic judo venue in 1964  who is now convinced of its uselessness.  So I think it's an open question about kata ... but that same person is in excellent physical shape for a man of his age ... so the question is really still about physical shape and promotion in judo.

    Now I may really be stirring up trouble.
    wouldn't be a proper judo forum without proper stirring up of trouble, no?

    my apologies for taking the topic off course. it's just that the magic word, 'kata', has a way of triggering an involuntarily shudder in my loins.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:37 pm

    contrarian wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    contrarian wrote:i don't like kata having anything to do with promotions.
    i appreciate the historical scholarly significance in its original use as a mnemonic device, but we have videos now.
    it's better to expand gokyo to include more variations to spread the modern judo waza repertoire.
    Your comment might be off topic ... and a discussion of the significance and utility of kata is a whole different thread that does not belong here ... but there is a relevant portion in your comment.  There's a whole other discussion about the existence of judo without its kata ... though the right answer is that judo could exist without the trappings of modern competition but not without the works of its founder.  'Nuff said about that.

    The relevant part of your comment is this:  You are right, judo should be expanded in the individual ... that is the lifelong learning part Stacey refers to.  Kata is only one of a list of things yudansha should know and be able to do.  But a common excuse surrounding avoidance of learning kata is "I just can't do that physically any more"  But in fact it does occur that the person could learn ... they are just too lazy to get off their ass.  Further, if they are mentally limited to judo as jacket wrestling, not modern budo, then they cannot teach a large portion of what judo is?  It strikes me as odd to say "it's not relevant" though I don't know how anyone can proclaim that unless they are already competent. Should these folks be promoted?  Does the ignorance of kata go hand in hand with a tendency to indolence in people who are past the children's game?

    Now lest I seem uneven ... I do know someone who is said to have performed the nagenokata as uke at the first Olympic judo venue in 1964  who is now convinced of its uselessness.  So I think it's an open question about kata ... but that same person is in excellent physical shape for a man of his age ... so the question is really still about physical shape and promotion in judo.

    Now I may really be stirring up trouble.
    wouldn't be a proper judo forum without proper stirring up of trouble, no?

    my apologies for taking the topic off course. it's just that the magic word, 'kata', has a way of triggering an involuntarily shudder in my loins.  
    OK ... which of the seven official kata causes you to shudder the most? So I know who I am stirring up, how many have you committed to memory before hurrying to the door to hurl?


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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:38 pm

    BillC wrote:
    OK ... which of the seven official kata causes you to shudder the most?  So I know who I am stirring up, how many have you committed to memory before hurrying to the door to hurl?
    only NNK, and i struggle with it, because i can't feign interest.
    i have learned many more katas in other martial arts and regret every moment spent.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:18 am

    contrarian wrote:only NNK ...
    Well, there you go, and probably like many people whose education plateaus at some point.

    But putting this back on track, do you intend to participate in judo for life? To get promoted? To learn more and more ... or just cruise around the dojo less and less until the age your feet turn black and you become a burden to others?

    There's nothing wrong with that ... good friend and sensei Ralph Lisle went to his grave I think never even having done nagenokata even once ... professed that if he had to learn to be uke that it would ruin his judo for good. Ralph was a kind man, and a devoted friend to many in the judo community ... but not a good judo player. Having said that, he stayed in shape the best he could and did randori until his heart literally stopped beating on its own. So he would have passed the "cares about his physical shape as an example to others" criteria I am asking about.


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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:39 am

    BillC wrote:
    contrarian wrote:only NNK ...
    Well, there you go, and probably like many people whose education plateaus at some point.  

    But putting this back on track, do you intend to participate in judo for life?  To get promoted?  To learn more and more ... or just cruise around the dojo less and less until the age your feet turn black and you become a burden to others?

    There's nothing wrong with that ... good friend and sensei Ralph Lisle went to his grave I think never even having done nagenokata even once ... professed that if he had to learn to be uke that it would ruin his judo for good.  Ralph was a kind man, and a devoted friend to many in the judo community ... but not a good judo player.  Having said that, he stayed in shape the best he could and did randori until his heart literally stopped beating on its own.  So he would have passed the "cares about his physical shape as an example to others" criteria I am asking about.
    you must be right. my education has plateaued and i am destined to be a burden to others.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:13 am

    [quote="contrarian"]
    BillC wrote:Ralph Lisle went to his grave I think never even having done nagenokata even once ... professed that if he had to learn to be uke that it would ruin his judo for good.  Ralph was a kind man, and a devoted friend to many in the judo community ... but not a good judo player...
    contrarian wrote:you must be right. my education has plateaued and i am destined to be a burden to others.
    Well since we are the only ones interested in this discussion it seems, who cares about derailment? We may as well enjoy the view on this railroad as the train bumps down a dirt road. As you note, if we are not having any back and forth, no need for a forum. Wanna go to the bar car for a beer?

    The sad thing about Ralph ... he probably had a few regrets in life as we all do ... one of his biggest regrets was that he never learned to do a proper haraigoshi. He has the build for it, when he first came to our dojo he had the strength, liked the idea, admired the work of others ... made expansive explanations of what he had learned from this instructor or that about haraigoshi ... but couldn't do it.

    No amount of subterfuge could get him to try it the way I learned to do it ... and I can ... through the nagenokata. Maybe that is because he was more than a bit of a contrarian himself ... no one was going to make him wear a seatbelt, doctors were all crooks and idiots, etc. It seems that for such people ... and there are a lot of people like this is judo ... the fact that someone wants to make them do something ... well, judo people often start out as competitive and contrary and if not usually end up that way after some time.

    Back on track ... just try making someone forgo that nightly half gallon of ice cream and instead jog around the block a few times every day before they can take nidan ... they will more than likely set out to prove to you that fat folks can kick ass too. Who hasn't tried to force a smoker to quit with resounding failure? Aside from professions ... the Marine Corps comes to mind where real force can be applied ... most judoka really don't respond well when informed of their inadequacies ... except perhaps at the receiving end of an ippongachi.

    That's why ... those in higher rank sitting in judgement of others need to be able to walk the walk, to look the part, before they start bossing other adults around?


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:16 am

    Rank promotion in Judo is often in my experience viewed as a birthright. And it seems to me at times that promotion requirements (especially on the "knowledge and service") side tend to encourage that.

    I think that a person needs to be physically able to do Judo...after all, it is a form of "physical education". As for making allowances for age or injuries, to a degree, yes, that could be appropriate. I don't have any set limits for those sorts of things, but they should be clearly spelled out in whatever NGB or other judo federation/association etc. is making them up.

    As for the fattys, smokers, and just plain lazy, if their condition is a result of their own indulgence, they can stay where they are...unless they can pass the requirements on the physical side,in which case, more power too them. I've done Judo with smokers who could and did smoke me in randori, and to boot a couple were at least twice my age at the time.



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    Stacey

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Stacey on Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:18 pm

    I'm more interested in hearing about kata stirring your loins....

    but, hey. There's a syllabus. We need to stick to the syllabus, but not so strictly that there's only one way to do things. The throws and kata and randori of the syllabus, and the knowledge, need to be flexible, so that different people can attain their goals. Does this mean "dumbing down" the syllabus? No. it just means that I'm going to do things differently than you, and that they both may be just as legitimate.

    So, when the mere idea of NNK stirring loins comes along, we need to take that into account. Do we grade somebody who's not a kata specialist the same as somebody who is a kata specialist? If your tokui waza is uchi mata, should my uchi mata be held to that same standard? What about your tai otoshi? Should it be held to my standard? And, if as uke in KNK, I'm actually able to escape tori's pin (as has happened a few times), should I fail the promotional test?

    It's all relative, isn't it? Well, except for stirring loins. we can talk a lot more about stirring loins - I'm all ears bounce 
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:00 pm

    Stacey wrote:I'm more interested in hearing about kata stirring your loins....

    but, hey.  There's a syllabus.  We need to stick to the syllabus, but not so strictly that there's only one way to do things.  The throws and kata and randori of the syllabus, and the knowledge, need to be flexible, so that different people can attain their goals.  Does this mean "dumbing down" the syllabus? No.  it just means that I'm going to do things differently than you, and that they both may be just as legitimate.

    So, when the mere idea of NNK stirring loins comes along, we need to take that into account.  Do we grade somebody who's not a kata specialist the same as somebody who is a kata specialist?  If your tokui waza is uchi mata, should my uchi mata be held to that same standard?  What about your tai otoshi?  Should it be held to my standard?  And, if as uke in KNK, I'm actually able to escape tori's pin (as has happened a few times), should I fail the promotional test?

    It's all relative, isn't it?  Well, except for stirring loins.  we can talk a lot more about stirring loins - I'm all ears bounce 
    I like my loins shaken, not stirred.

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Raj Venugopal on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:34 am

    What are you guys considering "old?" The post about being a catcher but being sick at bending at the knees was funny. My 13 year old daughter is close to kicking my butt but at 41 I still train pretty hard and keep decent shape. Tsuri komi goshi and the pulling action of uchimata causes my shoulders some pain even when done right, and I don't sleep well on my right shoulder, but general fitness seems to be holding well. Guess the motivation is still there because I like rolling with the guys, and my kids.
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    Stacey

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Stacey on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:48 am

    I guess I'm not looking at it so much as "old" but as in "otherwise abled". At 20, I'd already had surgery on both shoulders (thank you, swimming!), so I came in to judo "otherwise abled". Now, at ### (a lady never reveals her age!), I've got a bum knee, and a bum hip that would really appreciate some good surgical work. I cannot get down for tsuri komi goshi on both legs. I can do it on my one good leg, but that makes the whole throw look weird, and changes the dynamics substantially. It's the wear and tear on my body from a variety of activities, including judo.

    As we've heard about, there are plenty of us on these boards who have had some sort of joint replacement. These joints act a bit differently, and those who have had these surgeries engage in judo differently than they did before the surgeries, and a lot differently when they were uninjured 20 year olds.

    So, if you're older, and you don't have the sensation of ground glass in your knees, or if your knees don't catch, or your fingers go numb if your hands are over your shoulders for more than a few seconds; great! That's the standard that can be used for you when you're ready to test. But, if you're 22 and have had your rotator cuff rebuilt, perhaps modification of technique is appropriate, and such things should be taken into account when you're testing for promotion.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:58 am

    Raj and Stacey ... old is a state of mind sometimes ... but don't you think that 45+ starts to become what Shag and Yuji decided should be the "silver league?"  Anyway, that's what I sneak on to the tournament flyers when no one is checking.

    What should be interesting to a promotion board where applicable, or to younger players who we all hope will look up and say "I hope I am still on the mat when I get to that age" ... what should be interesting are the strategies you use to get around the stuff that no longer serves to full capacity.  Instead of a "doing it wrong" there should be rapt attention to "this is how I figured out a work-around."

    Stacey, tsurikomigoshi is one of those.  Have you explored the version that only requires you to bend your knees slightly?  Still the same technique, still used in the same spot.  If you can still do the "tsurikomi," then one thing that certainly increases in capacity as we age is the "koshi."  Though using proper anatomical Japanese we can also say that for most men the "shiri" falls off on or around that "silver league" birthday.



    Me, I have to spend more time sitting seiza.  My club just doesn't do it much ... lots of things we probably should do but don't ... this is one.  But NBK shamed me when I visited his dojo because I was completely unable to sit through their somewhat protracted opening and closing.  Cold knees are worse of course, and from time to time one or the other will click a lot and become unstable for a few weeks.  But I found that I could sit seiza if I just sat a lot ... what I thought was lost to age was just lost to laziness.


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    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling
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    Stacey

    Posts : 554
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Stacey on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:10 pm

    I have a hard time getting up from sitting seiza - my ankle freezes, and I need "hopping around time" and that's after I use my hands to get up.

    The closest I can come to tsuri komi goshi is an uke wearing a jacket that's too big for him, pulling it out of his belt and getting it nice a loose, and trying that way. In all seriousness, I haven't been on the tatami in 2 years because I can't get my left leg to come close to working right. I saw video of my last shiai, and I was playing with that leg locked out straight. To me, that's a danger to myself and others. I have a tear in the labrum of my hip, and a few injuries to my knee, the latest being a partial tear to the ACL. I lost it on the secretary to my orthopod, calling him a coward for delivering all follow-up via secretary. As a result, I now need to go more than an hour away to get any sort of orthopedic care. It was very disturbing. Anyway, I haven't decided how to proceed and am in the worst shape in my life. The most disturbing aspect is the fact that I have a pretty much permanent prescription for pain pills as I watch the quads and thigh muscles of my left leg fade away.

    I'm not looking to test anytime soon. I'm not looking to walk onto a tatami anytime soon. I'm trying to figure out how to have my leg worked on or amputated as it does me no good (other than it can shift gears on my motorcycle).

    And yes, I am a member of the silver league. I prefer the silver league to things like masters and veterans, especially since those terms keep getting twisted around. I'm just not capable of stepping onto the tatami without a great risk of injury. I never want to have somebody feel responsible for my injuries. I'd rather fix them, but apparently it's complicated and secretaries do sucky follow up.
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    BillC

    Posts : 806
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Vista, California

    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:48 pm

    Stacey wrote: ... I'm trying to figure out how to have my leg worked on or amputated as it does me no good (other than it can shift gears on my motorcycle) ...
    Well, I am certainly sorry for your condition, and I hope you do get around to having your corpse in for repairs before things get too bad. Not only so you can get back on the mat, but mobility is so much cooler than not. You know, if you are pissed off at the orthopedic profession then riding a donorcycle is probably not the best way to get even.


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling

    Richard Riehle

    Posts : 79
    Join date : 2013-06-22
    Location : California

    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Richard Riehle on Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:11 pm

    Some of you know that, now in the later half of my eighth decade, not far from my own eightieth birthday, I am a bit older than the typical Judo practitioner. Even so, I still enjoy bowing onto the mat, and getting tossed around a bit. Now and then I even get in a clean nagekomi of my own.

    For me, rank has been less important than actually doing Judo at whatever level of capability I could manage. During my primary competition years, I earned some promotions, but that was never a goal. In my view, promotions should not be pursued, but awarded. The most important thing is to continue to learn and train.

    Over the past few decades I have been "accused" of being under-ranked. For me, being under-ranked and having that recognized by my peers was a good thing. Better to be under-ranked than over-ranked. So much of the rank criteria is arbitrary anyway, especially the time-in-grade model, a model that is basically meaningless since it is measured in years rather than amount of training.

    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank. Rank is about comparison. Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering". The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc. it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.

    But then I am just a fuzzy-headed old man who is sometimes out-of-touch with the reality of modern life. What can you expect from an old geezer who grew-up in a time when we still did our business in a little building at the end of the lot where the source of daylight was a small quarter-moon cut-in the side of that building, a man who still thinks the Model A Ford was the right shape and design for an automobile, a gray-haired old-timer who simply enjoys any part of Judo training he is still capable of doing a few times a week. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"
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    Stacey

    Posts : 554
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Stacey on Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:16 pm

    don't knock outhouses - they are still in use, and I've used more than my share. Some have belonged to very respected friends and cousins.

    Anyway, I think you have the right idea of rank. I was surprised that you were getting yondan, as I thought you would have been higher ranked. I am pleased that you are not - it show me that your concentration is on judo, not rank, contrary to many others.

    My concentration is on judo. I want to get back to the tatami and participate in direct judo. I want to wake up the next morning with the pleasure of being barely able to move because my muscles are so sore. I want to experience the next class, and feel that general progression of soreness, and see my body adapt to gi burn and fingertip bruises. To me, that would be a sign I'm well on the way to getting back into practical judo.

    Still, it is nice to be recognized for your achievement, and yours is well deserved. Congratulations.

    Raj Venugopal

    Posts : 120
    Join date : 2013-01-21

    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Raj Venugopal on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:53 pm

    When I was at Ontario Open I saw some "silver foxes" competing and was quite inspired. In any event, this issue about fitness and grading (notwithstanding the caveats about grading being less important than learning and doing judo) is interesting. It mirrors questions about firemen and policemen having to have a basic level of fitness for promotion. We are even seeing some of this applied to military service.
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    Cichorei Kano

    Posts : 1948
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 858
    Location : the Holy See

    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:06 pm

    Raj Venugopal wrote:When I was at Ontario Open I saw some "silver foxes" competing and was quite inspired.


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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

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